Hopefully sour news can turn into lemonade

Published 8:36 pm Saturday, February 18, 2006

By Staff
We're very sorry to see Vertis leave Niles. Mostly, we're sorry to see as many as 84 Niles jobs go away.
The company has been in business here for many years and its abrupt departure is disturbing.
More disturbing is how the company informed its Niles workers they were out of a job. According to several former Vertis Niles employees, all employees were summoned to a meeting on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in which they were told the company was going to share with them "some good news."
The news the employees received was that they were immediately out of a job, but they were going to receive what amounts to about two months worth of severance pay.
We're glad the company chose to pay its workers a severance package, but I doubt any of the breadwinners in the group considered the loss of a job as "good news."
Vertis, first as Printco and later as Treasure Chest Advertising, was a fixture for many years in the Niles Industrial Park and was a good corporate neighbor. The actual good news for Niles is that a number of manufacturers in the past have expressed interest in a facility the size of the Vertis plant, but no existing facility has been available. Let's hope Sharon Witt Tyler and others here who are charged with economic development in our community will have an easy time filling the former Vertis space.
Kudos to Niles Community Schools for honoring this week its straight A students.
With the help of a federal grant, the school district hosted more than 400 at its annual Breakfast of Champions in the Monogram Room of Notre Dame on Thursday morning.
Former Niles grad and Notre Dame senior Dan Klute told the group he achieved his lifelong dream of attending Notre Dame through focus and much hard work.
Klute expects to graduate in May with a degree in marketing.
Straight A's? Can you imagine? I remember how in awe I was of Jordan Rattenbury, who graduated from Niles High School in 2003 and was a co-valedictorian that year. Jordan never - never - earned a grade lower than an A during her entire elementary, middle school and high school experience.
And, she's continuing that exemplary work at Butler University in Indianapolis. Rattenbury, the daughter of Tom and Mary Rattenbury of Niles, was named to that university's recently-released dean's list.
Niles schools honored 160 straight A students at the Breakfast of Champions this year. That's 48 seventh graders, 32 eighth graders, 29 ninth graders, 21 tenth graders, 12 juniors and 18 seniors.
As Niles curriculum director Jim Craig told the group on Thursday, straight A's don't just happen. It takes more than intelligence. It takes a drive to work through difficult situations, Craig said.
Congratulations to all. Remain vigilant and know the investment you are making in your future will pay worthwhile dividends.
Dr. Randall Miller, the new Lake Michigan College president, was in Niles at the college's campus in Bertrand Crossing on Thursday. He wants to know what people in Niles expect from LMC's campus here.
The Bertrand College campus is an incredible facility and already serves about 500 students. However, Miller wants to expand that number quickly, he said.
Miller said his philosophy is that programs should be available for people of all ages and interests and wants LMC campuses to be centers of cultural activities in their communities.
That's good news for Niles.